Famous Modern Ghost Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 271 pages of information about Famous Modern Ghost Stories.

And again I sunk into visions of Ligeia—­and again (what marvel that I shudder while I write?), again there reached my ears a low sob from the region of the ebony bed.  But why shall I minutely detail the unspeakable horrors of that night?  Why shall I pause to relate how, time after time, until near the period of the gray dawn, this hideous drama of revivification was repeated; how each terrific relapse was only into a sterner and apparently more irredeemable death; how each agony wore the aspect of a struggle with some invisible foe; and how each struggle was succeeded by I know not what of wild change in the personal appearance of the corpse?  Let me hurry to a conclusion.

The greater part of the fearful night had worn away, and she who had been dead once again stirred—­and now more vigorously than hitherto, although arousing from a dissolution more appalling in its utter hopelessness than any.  I had long ceased to struggle or to move, and remained sitting rigidly upon the ottoman, a helpless prey to a whirl of violent emotions, of which extreme awe was perhaps the least terrible, the least consuming.  The corpse, I repeat, stirred, and now more vigorously than before.  The hues of life flushed up with unwonted energy into the countenance—­the limbs relaxed—­and, save that the eyelids were yet pressed heavily together, and that the bandages and draperies of the grave still imparted their charnel character to the figure, I might have dreamed that Rowena had indeed shaken off, utterly, the fetters of Death.  But if this idea was not, even then, altogether adopted, I could at least doubt no longer, when, arising from the bed, tottering, with feeble steps, with closed eyes, and with the manner of one bewildered in a dream, the thing that was enshrouded advanced boldly and palpably into the middle of the apartment.

I trembled not—­I stirred not—­for a crowd of unutterable fancies connected with the air, the stature, the demeanor, of the figure, rushing hurriedly through my brain, had paralyzed—­had chilled me into stone.  I stirred not—­but gazed upon the apparition.  There was a mad disorder in my thoughts—­a tumult unappeasable.  Could it, indeed, be the living Rowena who confronted me?  Could it, indeed, be Rowena at all—­the fair-haired, the blue-eyed Lady Rowena Trevanion of Tremaine?  Why, why should I doubt it?  The bandage lay heavily about the mouth—­but then might it not be the mouth of the breathing Lady of Tremaine?  And the cheeks—­there were the roses as in her noon of life—­yes, these might indeed be the fair cheeks of the living Lady of Tremaine.  And the chin, with its dimples, as in health, might it not be hers?—­but had she then grown taller since her malady? What inexpressible madness seized me with that thought?  One bound, and I had reached her feet!  Shrinking from my touch, she let fall from her head, unloosened, the ghastly cerements which had confined it, and there streamed

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Famous Modern Ghost Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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